We're going to get personal here so hang on and don't judge until you know the full story. I grew up in a legalistic, non-denominational church from the age of two until I was fourteen when my parents realized the legalism. We switched to a very open and accepting non-denominational Christian church that better aligned with our beliefs and values and we have attended there for the last five years. When I say I am a moderately-conservative Christian woman, what I mean is the standards I hold myself to in my speech and behavior are often considered conservative, but I don't care what other people do nor do I judge them for their speech or actions (unless it directly affects me).
As you may know if you've read my previous articles, I am also a (musical) theater performer. The thing about being a performer is that it's a job—sometimes you have to do things you don't like. I'm not saying I don't love the musical I'm currently performing in, "The Great American Trailer Park Musical," but there are aspects of it (lines that are said and actions that are performed—some by me) that I would not say or do in my everyday life.
This rather inappropriate subject matter (complete with a "don't bring your children" warning on the poster) has led me to not want to invite my church friends to see me perform in my first lead role in a college-level musical. I'm afraid of being judged by them; afraid they will think I'm not being a good Christian.
But I am proud of the work I'm doing, and I know God not only still loves me but is proud of my hard work as well.
I am okay because all of the "inappropriate" things I say and do are the words and actions of a character I'm portraying, not the words and actions of myself as a person. God still loves me because He knows I am playing a character, and He understands that my work as a performer does not reflect my own personal beliefs. I am okay because I am playing the role I was given to the best of my ability, and that's what's expected from anyone in any job. God still loves me because He loved me before this show, He loves me during it, and He will continue to love me after.
So there you have it. I'm playing a character who not only doesn't align with but downright opposes some of my personal beliefs. I'm performing in a musical that has inappropriate and mildly-offensive material. I am putting my heart and soul into a piece of art that will not be seen or appreciated by some of the people who I want to see my work the most. And even with all that; I am okay, and God still loves me.